Black Friday and Cyber Month are just around the corner, and with consumers shopping for the holidays earlier than ever before, brands know all too well that the time to prepare is now. According to Criteo research, 77% of Americans start purchasing their holiday gifts during Amazon Prime Day and competing events from other retailers in July. This major shift indicates that Black Friday no longer marks the start of the festive shopping mindset.
As concerns over labor shortages, shipping delays, and supply chain issues rise, we predict that the move towards shopping well before Black Friday will intensify this year. This means that brands will need to be especially on their A-game when it comes to delivering fast and seamless shopping experiences.
To understand how marketers can meet the needs of shifting Black Friday habits around the world, we tapped into our exclusive commerce dataset from retailers around the world. Read on for key marketing strategies that will help ramp up your ad campaigns during this major shopping event.
1. Create promotional moments throughout all of Cyber Month
Earlier this month, we reported that Cyber Month is stealing Black Friday’s thunder as shoppers shift away from grabbing all the best deals within a single day in favor of month-long promotions.
Criteo data reveals that this trend is occurring globally. Last year, global organic sales during the Black Friday weekend increased 16% compared to the year before. However, global organic sales during the entire Cyber Month increased 33% year-over-year.
So what does this mean for Black Friday marketing? Don’t put all your marketing eggs in the Black Friday basket. Cyber Month presents a treasure trove of opportunities to engage shoppers earlier, longer, and more consistently.
2. Tap into Cyber Month’s growing popularity around the world
As the sales super-spike during Black Friday continues to soften, Criteo data shows that Cyber Month is on the rise around the world. Cyber Month is taking hold even in countries where Black Friday isn’t traditionally observed, further indicating the importance of the month-long event globally.
In Latin America, for example, sales throughout the entire month of November last year were 55% above pre-pandemic sales in November 2019. In Brazil, Cyber Month sales grew 48% in 2021 compared to pre-pandemic sales.
In APAC, sales throughout the entire month of November last year rose 31% since the same period in 2019. Countries such as Australia (+52%) and India (+58%) saw a particularly strong spike in sales when comparing November 2019 with 2021.
For those with a global presence, consider adjusting your marketing budgets as Cyber Month is still growing in all markets, such as in Latin America and APAC.
3. Create an omnichannel strategy that accounts for the return of in-store shopping
As pandemic restrictions eased in 2021, more people returned to shopping in physical stores for Black Friday and Cyber Month deals. Looking at last year’s extended Black Friday weekend (November 26-30), Criteo uncovered that in-store sales from US omnichannel retailers* were up 10% YoY, while online sales were down 17%.
Shopping in physical stores made an even bigger return in Europe. Last year, in-store sales jumped 146% compared to the previous year while online sales remained stable YoY. (This trend does not include France, who was under lockdown at the end of November in 2020.)
While physical stores are more popular than they were a year ago, a consumer survey conducted by Criteo this year revealed that online ads are more popular than they were last year for discovery.1 In addition, our sales data shows that in-store shoppers purchase almost twice as often when they also visit the retailer’s website.
While customers will still make purchases online during Black Friday, marketers can enrich the customer journey by creating seamless omnichannel experiences that connect physical and online shopping.
*Retailers who generated sales both instore and online during the period.
4. Prioritize acquiring new customers for optimal growth
Acquisition opportunities are the strongest at the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Criteo data shows that the share of new customers begins to rise in early November and peaks on Black Friday – particularly in the US, Brazil, and much of Europe.
Make the most of this crucial time by focusing on data-driven acquisition tactics that will identify, attract, and engage highly-relevant new customers.
Acquiring new customers early on then allows you to launch retention strategies across the rest of the holiday shopping season to keep shoppers coming back to your brand for more.
Want more advertising strategies for the holidays?
Our Holiday and Festive Season Playbook on a Page is packed with digital advertising tactics to help you make the most of the peak shopping season.
Based on Criteo data from more than 22,000 advertisers and $1 trillion in ecommerce sales, our playbook will help you maximize the success of your festive season campaigns through strategies grounded in a deep understanding of commerce trends and consumer needs.
1 Criteo Consumer Sentiment Index, June 2022-June2022, N=328.